Once the euphoria subsides tomorrow, whoever is elected will have the deeply difficult task of rescuing our economy from a looming depression. Let’s see where we are nearly sixty days after the meltdown:
1. The $700 billion bailout has yet to lead to the kind of mortgage or credit card rate reductions needed to reboot the consumer economy.
2. Despite the bailout and at least a trillion dollars in taxpayer loans to corporations made by the federal government, banks are hoarding or merging rather than lending.
3. Lobbyists for the financial titans that got us into this mess – banks, hedge funds, private equity, etc – are hard at work protecting their interests in Washington, D.C. As usual, the interests of the average person have yet to be represented or even articulated by elected officials.
4. All economic indicators suggest further deterioration in the economy.
If Obama wins tonight, he will still face a Congress that has long been indentured to the financial industry. Even a landslide does not guarantee that members of the House and Senate will follow his plan to rescue our economy – a plan which has yet to be developed.
If McCain ekes it out, he will face the added complication of a Congress dominated by the other party, likely with greater numbers than at present.
My take: getting elected President was the easy part.